welcome to riebeek college

At Riebeek College, school life is exciting!

Tucked away in the Eastern Cape town of Uitenhage is the much acclaimed educational gem: Riebeek College Girls’ High School. Here, steeped in tradition, the busy bees of Riebeek, for the bee is our emblem, create a hive of activity. Girls ranging in ages from the enthusiastic grade 4s to our elegant  matrics find themselves involved and committed.


Riebeek is equal to the best. A fee-paying school, with a boarding facility for weekly boarders, and a day-boarding package, Riebeek provides parents with a safe, supervised environment for their treasured daughters.


Racial and religious tolerance, compassion and charity are entrenched. The carefully designed Pocket Code of Conduct is underwritten by principles which are rooted in morality and spiritual fruitfulness. Riebeek nurtures and cares.


Riebeek is famed for its award-winning choir. Competing in the advanced category, they win golds at national choir competitions. In 2014, a group of our girls featured with Johnny Clegg on Top Billing, having won a national song and dance competition. In 2015, Riebeek featured in the top 25 schools in South Africa in the Fairlady survey.  Professor Jansen in the national press praised the school in June 2015, and followed this up later by identifying Riebeek as a top SA school in terms of combining character building and academic excellence.


Many of the staff are Old Girls, proving the faith they have in the unique education offered by our Alma Mater.

The school continues to offer future generations what is truly best about the past while adapting to changing times. The Riebeek ladies walk in integrity with an attitude of gratitude while displaying a passion for  tolerance, mental and physical energy and knowledge.

Our buzzing calendar exudes passion for play, compassion for charity, craze for cultural activities and a love of learning. Founded in 1877, this progressive school provides holistic education in a happy, safe and stimulating environment to ensure that every learner is equipped to face the challenges of a changing world. The school has convenient, caring boarding and aftercare facilities. As the first public school in South Africa to vote to open its doors to all races, the school appreciates the diversity of the Riebeek family. Matriculants are perfectly prepared to enter tertiary institutions with the skills and work ethic to succeed. 

As an all-girls school with Grade 4 to 12 occupying the same building, we have the opportunity to mould, over a school career, ladies who can contribute positively to society: “To seek the good in others and always do our best”, as our school song indicates. 

our mission statement

riebeek leading schools feb 2017

Riebeek Marvels at her Superheroes

Riebeek College Girls’ High School celebrates its 140th birthday this year with a power punch of achievements to marvel at.
Principal, Mrs Kieran Stear, and deputy, Mrs Cheryl Snyman, are worthy guardians of the school. They know too well Superman’s dictum that with great power comes great responsibility.
It is said that heroes are ordinary people who make them themselves extraordinary, and Riebeek Old Girls prove it. Recently, Hlomela Bucwa (Class of 2010) was sworn in as the youngest South African parliamentarian and Noni Mafani Mbete (Class of 2008) was crowned Mrs Africa World. Zikhona Bali (Class of 2007) lights up our television screens starring in productions such as IS'THUNZI. Linley Myburg Fourie (Class of 2006) is the author of the recently published The Smile Smile Book.
The Class of 2016 obtained a 100% pass, a fantastic 90% Bachelor Pass rate and 107 subject distinctions from a class of 78 girls. Natheera Sirkhotte and Martez Meyer attained 5 distinctions each. Martez Meyer, deputy head girl, said, “The best tip that I can offer for success is to believe in yourself - you are destined for greatness.”
On the sportsfields, in the classrooms and in societies; Riebeek empowers her girls to find superpowers and make an impact.

Riebeek College is 140 years young and celebrates bold education with the resilience, compassion, loyalty, success and happiness that embody a Riebeek education.  At the progressive Riebeek College, over 700 girls are nurtured and loved as they embrace life and learning.   From Grade 4 to 12, girls are groomed to spread their wings. Along the way, every girl is taught that she is valued, that she belongs and that she is receiving a quality education on a journey where purpose drives the school’s programme.
On Founder’s Day annually, Old Girls will fill the hall and corridors with laughter and reminiscing.  When these chickens come home to roost, it is a loud affair.    A packed hall of “girls” agree wholeheartedly that Riebeek’s teachings take you far. They speak of the calibre of staff who have directed them on the straight and narrow with their passion and care.  They reminisce about stay-awakes, memorable lessons, inter-house rivalry, hockey tours, piles of donated goods for a cause and they all respond to the angelic voices of Riebeek’s legendary choir.  They remember  bright and timid Grade 4s and the farewell tunnel at the nostalgic Valedictory Service. 
Professor Jansen, former Vice Chancellor of the University of the Orange Free State, listed Riebeek as one of his top ten South African schools in combining character building and academic excellence.  Riebeek featured in the Old Mutual and Destiny Magazine  Good Schools Report and in Fairlady as a school of excellence.
Hlomela Bucwa (Class of 2010) was sworn in as the youngest South African parliamentarian and Noni Agcobile Mafani Mbete (Class of 2008) was crowned Mrs Africa World. Zikhona Bali (Class of 2007) lights up our television screens starring in productions such as IS'THUNZI. Bernadette Maguire is a Carte Blanche producer. The Class of 2016 obtained a 100% pass, a fantastic 90% Bachelor Pass rate and 107 subject distinctions from a class of 78 girls.
On the sportsfields, in the classrooms and in the cultural and service societies; Riebeek lives out the mission statement of our school to prepare our learners face to the challenges of a changing world in a happy and stimulating environment.

 Passionate parents, lively and successful Old Girls and supportive staff and loyal learners are definitely what makes Riebeek fly high.
Is there something about Riebeek? Is it the way a teacher takes a learner under her wing,? a hunger for success, a “early bird catches the worm” enthusiasm, a sense that a duckling can be a swan or that attitude will determine altitude, a determination to soar above the rest? It’s not one thing really. It is the keeping their heads out of the sand and embracing change to fly the Riebeek flag high… always.  They are a happy brood at Riebeek in spite of challenges and by choosing to always do that which is honourable and right,   
 “To seek the good in others and always do our best”.
And that is why we soar above the rest. Riebeek …..gives you wings.

latest headlines at riebeek:

market day

BY Mrs C. Chrysostomou and Megan Potgieter

An incredible Market Day hosted by the Riebeek College Grade 7 classes was held on 8 September.. With creative themes, delicious goodies and interesting services offered, the rest of the school spent their very last cents to enjoy and experience every bit of this fantastic day. The support was incredible and the rest of the school was eager to have 3D make-up done, paint their nails eat rotis, rice crispe treats and loads more. Mrs Chrysostomou said, "I was amazed at how the girls used their skills and creativity to produce a variety of options for the consumers. I was very impressed." The girls learnt a lot and might have realised that being an entrepreneur can be a challenging task. Megan Potgieter reports on Grade 7 Market Day on 8 September: This year's Grade 7 EMS market day was one to remember. So many wonderful eats and goodies were sold by each store. The atmosphere was filled with nerves as we had worked on this project for more than 3 weeks, but when the day came we were all excited. Our morning started off with a bit of cleaning and getting ready for the the day. All the tables were beautifully decorated according to each group's theme. When the time came to sell our products, everyone was overwhelmed by the amount of girls that bought things from their stores. Throughout the day, awesome music was played and we all danced along. A few stores sold out quite quickly in the beginning but at the end almost everyone's things were gone. Thank you so much to all the teachers that sold tokens on the day, thank you to Mrs Chrysostomou for organizing and thank you to everyone who bought everything that was on sale. This event taught us many things about entrepreneurship that we will use for the rest of our schooling career. Thank you too to Mrs T. Woods and the teachers who stepped in to help.

 September 12, 2017
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grade 4 assembly

BY Mrs B. Viljoen

The Grade 4’s held their assembly on the 30th of August. They practiced with great excitement and enthusiasm…because they all know that practice makes perfect.
Their assembly had a unique setting and a valuable lesson was to be learnt at the end. Their message they wanted to get across to the junior school was approached as an experiment, called “The Apple Experiment”.
Two apples were used. “Apple A” and “Apple B”. These two apples looked exactly the same in appearance. Nice and kind words were said about Apple A and passed on to the learners – “You are a lovely apple”, “Your skin is beautiful”, “Oh my, what a stunning shade of red you are”. The opposite was done to Apple B. Insulting and unkind words were said to Apple B and passed on to the learners – “You are a smelly apple, I don’t even know why you exist”, “I hate your skin, so pale and dull”, “You are just a stupid little apple”.
Both of these apples still looked perfect on the outside but the same could not be said for how they looked on the inside. When Apple A was cut open, it was beautiful and juicy on the inside but when Apple B was cut open it was brown and bruised.
“When people are bullied, like Apple B, they feel horrible inside and sometimes don’t show or tell others how they are feeling. If we hadn’t have cut that apple open, we would never have known how much pain we had caused it. These two apples represent us as people. If we are kind to one another and build each other up...we feel good on the inside...just like apple A. But when we bully, say nasty things to others and break them down...they get hurt and bruised on the inside. Apple B is a clear example of the devastating effect words / negative words can have on others. This is what happens inside every one of us when someone mistreats us with their words or actions.”
The Grade 4’s ended their assembly off with a cute and catchy song that motivates each and every learner to make our school a “Bully Free Zone”. The lyrics of the chores goes as follow:
“This school right here is a bully free zone and here’s a list of all our don’ts: We don’t hurt bodies, we don’t hurt hearts. Making fun, we don’t take part. We don’t wound others again and again. We show RESPECT 100%”     

 August 31, 2017
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Lizelle Knott (cancervive) at eleanor house day

BY Administrator

Lizelle Gribble Knott (Riebeek Old Girl, Class of 1998) visited Riebeek today for Eleanor House Day.  Miss Hattingh and Mrs Stevens co-ordinated fund-raising for Cancervive – the inter-class tin collection raised over R7000 and the Eleanor fund-raising raised more than R5000.  Miss Arthur and Mrs du Plessis were proud of their classes as each member of the class will receive a Revlon gift valued at R200 for being the classes to bring in the most money.  Lizelle’s story is told here in her own words:
I  am  a  wife,  a  mom,  a lymphoma survivor and a breast cancer warrior!
 I was  born  in  Port  Elizabeth, attended  Riebeek College  Girls’  High  School  in  Uitenhage and completed  my National  Diploma:    Cost  and  Management  Accounting  at  NMMU.    I  own  a  small  couture  wedding  and  party  invitation  and  stationery business and spend my afternoons with my little boy.
 In  2004  my then fiancé  and  I  relocated  to  East  London  to  pursue  a  career  opportunity  that  he  was  presented with.    On  7  January  2006  (11 years  ago!!!)  I  married  my  love,  Warren.    And  on  30  November  2012  we  were blessed  with  the  most  amazing  gift  of  all,  our  ray  of  sunshine  and  my  motivation  to  persevere,  a  little  boy  who we named Grayson.  We currently reside in Somerset West.
  I  love  being  a  wife  and  a  mom,  I  love  being  creative,  I  love  travelling  and  experiencing  new  cultures,  I  love cooking,  baking  and  entertaining,  I  love  spoiling  my  boys  and  doing  special  things  for  others!
 In  December  1996,  at  the  age  of  16  I  was  diagnosed  with  Non-Hodgkin’s  B-Cell  Lymphoma  in  my  chest  cavity.    I underwent  surgery,  radiation  and  10  rounds  of  chemo.    In  October  1997  I  was  declared  in  remission  and believed  I  had  said  good-bye  to  cancer  forever.
 But,  on  29  January  2014  my  world  was  rocked  by  another  cancer  diagnosis.    At  the  age  of  33  I  was  diagnosed with  Stage  II  Breast  Cancer  in  my  right  breast.    I  underwent  a  unilateral  mastectomy  and  immediate reconstruction.    I  also  had  six  rounds  of  TC  chemo  and  managed  to  save  my  hair  using Cold Caps. I continue to take daily medication in order to keep the cancer at bay.
 I am a team member of a  national  cancer  charity  called  Cancervive.
 Cancervive is a group of cancer survivors, mostly women, who aim to raise awareness of the importance of early detection and educate people about the signs and symptoms of cancer.  They also provide hope to newly diagnosed patients and connect them with survivors who can support them.  Every  year  they  do  a  motorbike  ride  through parts  of  South  Africa spreading Cancer awareness and this year we will be touring through parts of Gauteng, the Eastern Free State and the Northern Cape.
 In 2016 I was included  in  a  Foschini  campaign  called  Courage  to  Conquer  for breast cancer awareness month.  The  campaign told the  stories  of  breast  cancer  patients  and  survivors  and  created much  needed awareness  about  the  disease.
 I was also a semi-finalist in the 2016 Mrs South Africa competition.  My  reason  for  entering  the  competition  was  simple:    I  wanted to  share my story  with  as  many  people  as  possible!    I  believed  the  pageant  would  provide  me  with  the  platform  to  do  so.   Even  though  I  wasn’t  named  a  Top25  finalist,  so  many  doors  have opened  for  me  and  I  have  been  given awesome  opportunities  to  touch  lives.
 My story about using Cold Caps to save my hair has been published in Longevity and Your family magazines. And I assist other cancer patients who wish to try them too.
 I want  to  inspire  people.    I  want  someone  going  through  a  similar  journey  as  I  did  to  look  at  me  and  say:   “Because  of  you  I  didn’t  give  up”.
 I want  to  encourage  woman  who  have  been  diagnosed  with  cancer  to  realise  that  regardless  of  the  scars,  or  the hair  loss,  or  how  sick  they  may  feel,  they  are  still  beautiful.    They’re  still  a  woman,  a  wife,  a  mother.    And  that they  were  given  this  life  because  they  are  STRONG  enough  to  live  it!
 My mantra is:  "Attitude  is  the  difference  between  an  ordeal  and  an  adventure"
The link to the Cancervive website (www.cancervive.co.za)
The link to the Cancervive video (http://www.cancervive.co.za/videos2016.html). 
Lizelle requests: Please tag @Cancervive on Facebook and @cancervive_ride on Instagram.
You can also tag me @LizelleKnott on Facebook and Instagram. Hashtags to use: #Cancervive #CancerviveRide2017 #WeWillNotBeSilent #YouAreNotAlone #YouAreTheSolution #JoinCancervive

 August 29, 2017
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